Shares of luxury department store Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) are up almost 6% on Friday morning at a price of $46.50 as investors applaud better-than-expected earnings in the most recent fourth quarter. To boot, Co-President Peter Nordstrom told analysts that the effects of President Donald Trump’s recent angry tweet regarding the retailer dropping Ivanka Trump fashion line were “negligible, not really discernible one way or the other.”
Nordstrom Posts Q4 Beat
The Seattle-based retailer’s adjusted earnings of $1.37 per share posted in the fourth quarter beat the $1.15 consensus estimate, while Q4 revenues of $4.32 billion fell just short of the $4.35 billion forecasted by the Street. Sales represented a 3% increase over the fourth quarter of 2015, driven by solid inventory management and operational efficiencies, along with significant sales growth in its off-price retail chain, Nordstrom Rack, and its ecommerce platform, which now makes up 25% of its business.
Nordstrom says comparable-store sales sown 0.9% in the holiday period is “consistent with recent trends,” as traditional retailers feel pressure from a surge in online shopping. Nordstrom CFO Michael Koppel highlighted progress in boosting ecommerce efficiency as ecommerce margins are “starting to surpass” in-store margins. Yet while traditional in-store sales have taken a hit, Nordstrom posted 4.3% same-store sales growth at Nordstrom Rack. Off-price retailer TJX Companies Inc. (TJX) similarly posted a fourth-quarter beat this week, as comp sales grew 3% year over year (YOY), driven by an increase in customer traffic.
Gap in Ongoing Turnaround
The Gap Inc. (GAP) is up just over 1% on Friday at a price of $24.23 per share after posting in-line earnings and a sales beat in the fourth quarter. Adjusted earnings of $0.51 per share reflected a significant decline from year-ago non-GAAP EPS of $2.02. Fourth-quarter revenue of $4.43 billion indicated the first YOY increase in seven quarters. Positive comp sales growth of 2% in the recent quarter recovered from a 7% decline over the same period last year and was driven by strength of the firm’s Old Navy brand. Results indicate the San Francisco-based firm is on track with its ongoing turnaround initiative, despite weakness derived from store closures, forex headwinds and the Banana Republic Brand. (See also: Department Store Earnings: Winners and Losers.)